Chromeo with Breakbot and Mayer Hawthorne
7 p.m. Friday
423 N. Main, Tulsa
Macklovitch (or “Dave 1,” as the duo’s smooth-voiced singer and guitarist goes by) and his best friend, Patrick Gemayel (aka P-Thugg), started the band in Montreal after working as hip-hop producers. Chromeo’s independently produced 2004 debut, “She’s in Control,” was received with incredulity by many critics for its unabashed embrace of ’80s-pop synthesizers, dated drum machines, talk boxes and titles like “Destination: Overdrive.”
“Our whole first album is shit. Well, not all of it. But like, half of it,” Macklovitch said. “We were never in a major-label incubator, we never had producers come in and tell us how to do shit. We learned in front of everybody. But we had ‘Needy Girl,’ and that was like a passport to the next thing.”
That eventually led to a deal with Atlantic Records, which distributed their third album, the yearold “Business Casual.” The record uncanned “Control”’s kitschier elements, opening Chromeo up to more elaborate and expansive production. The funk guitar grooves swelled, the synths glittered brighter, and the electronic textures seemed more tangible.
In other words, they grabbed hold of the least genuine music ever produced and blasted off into the stratosphere. Such irony; no wonder the hipsters love them for “Needy Girl” and “Fancy Footwork,” the songs that earned them marquee spots at festivals all over, including the recent Austin City Limits Music Festival.
“Those are true anthems in the blog/Urban Outfitters/American Apparel world,” Macklovitch said. “Some people think we’re like Andy Samberg or something. But we’ll go and tear it up out there.”
Typical of a pop artist, he is already eyeing the next thing, which will be Chromeo’s second major-label release. He thinks out loud about what he wants to improve upon from previous records — namely, his singing and guitar-playing. But unlike many kindred spirits before him, he realizes how immediately listeners can latch on to a pop song and quickly turn it into something else entirely these days.
“I put it out into the world, it’s not mine anymore,” he said. “It’s not for me. It’s for other people.”
Photo by Angela Boatwright